Ben McCauley, hailing from Herminie, PA (population: about 2,000) is a small town kid with a big time game. McCauley scored over 2,000 points in his high school career, cracking the "Western Pennsylvania Top 20 All-Time Scorers List," and was a 4 star power forward (according to Scout), ranked 98 nationally.
Recruited by ex-coach Herb Sendek, Ben played sparingly as a freshman, but when Sendek departed for the desert (Arizona State) so did his top two post players (Ced Simmons -NBA, Andrew Brackman - MLB). Without 4 of the top 5 scorers from the year prior, it was time for McCauley to get his chance. Under new coach Sidney Lowe, Ben's game blossomed as he stepped in to average 14 points and 7 boards and helped lead NC State to the ACC tournament finals.
His junior year, the 07-08 season, was a season to forget for nearly everyone in a Wolfpack jersey. With the arrival of 5 star freshman center JJ Hickson, Ben was forced into a different position, and a lesser role, something that didn't sit right with the Junior, who was the team leader as a sophomore. The entire team struggled, as did McCauley whose totals dropped to a disappointing 6 points and 3 boards.
This year Ben has re-emerged as a team leader and true scoring threat for NC State. He has shown presence of mind, his soft touch around the hoop, and monster rebounding (he is currently the 8th leading rebounder in the ACC). Ben has quieted many of his Junior year critics by putting up 12 points and 8 boards, and has helped put NC State in a position to make a potential postseason push.
“I’ve gotten back into my comfort zone,” McCauley said. “It feels like two years ago, only better. I have more experience mentally. In my sophomore year I didn’t really know what to expect, and now I know what to expect out of myself and my teammates.”
As the season winds down, and each game is one step closer to the end of their college career, things start to sink in for the Seniors. As Ben McCauley acknowledged:
“I want it to keep going forever, but at the same time, every good thing has to come to and end,” McCauley said. “I’m looking forward to going wherever it is I’m going to go, but I’m not going to take these last few games for granted.”
At some point or another, the season will end and Ben McCauley will simply become another former Pack basketball player. But the fact is: those who got the chance to watch Ben will remember his intensity, his effort, and his loyalty to NC State. However this season ends up and wherever Ben's travels may take him, you can be sure that we'll be keeping you updated.
(Check out the Technician article on McCauley , where we found some of the quotes)